- *No Site Warnings Apply
- Challenge Response
- Established Relationship
Ray jigged in place. The weather was all Chicago messed up. Too cold. Too wet. But they’d caught a crew of five douchebags, including Donald Alfonso, so it wasn’t all bad. He tucked his thumbs in his belt loops and shared a grin with Huey and Dewey, since Fraser and Dief were busy making their bad guys sorry they’d ever stepped off the straight and narrow.
Who knew being neighborly paid off? Though for anyone else carrying groceries wouldn’t be so helpful. Really, it was mostly Constable Benton Fraser being his Mountie self that led to Mrs. Alfonso trusting them. Telling Benton what her naughty son was up to a week ago. Not Ray though. She wasn’t big on him.
Ray and Mrs. Alfonso had a thing. An understanding. She didn’t approve of Ray’s spiky, blond hair, so she tended to ignore him every time they did the grocery help thing no matter how much he carried. In return, Ray didn’t mention that she always seemed to need groceries carried home exactly when he and Benton were taking Dief for his evening constitutional, all because she liked staring at his boyfriend’s ass as much as he did. He’d explained it to Benton once and laughed before chasing how far down the blush went. That’d been a good night. Great night. Best night.
But amazingly it worked out. Benton liked doing the neighborly grocery thing and it’d led to her turning in her son and his cronies. Okay, the whole her son setting her up and conning her out of her Christmas money had probably sped it along.
Still, a few weeks being nice, a few days hunting down leads. And here they were, arresting five dirtbags that had been swindling charities and pensioners for years.
They’d gone after nuns this year, which sucked because… nuns. Who targets nuns? Assholes. Just plain, grade-a American douchebags, that’s who. They’d even dressed up for the swindling. All nice button-up shirts and proper haircuts that might even look decent in their mug shots. ‘Course, that’d been before he, Benton, Dief, Huey, and Dewey had crashed their wrapping party. Which had been an actual gift wrapping thing. Which the nuns now had to do on their own. And he felt bad about that. But, better to leave some gifts unwrapped than come in late and have to deal with the actual stealing.
Waving off Huey and Dewey, Ray went to speak to the head of this shindig, Mother Cecilia. She was a good one. Nice and steady as he asked his questions for the wrap up.
Ray nodded, as he jotted down the information. Today had been good. Great. Greatness. He checked back with a quick glance at their perps.
Right now, they looked like a sorry bunch, all cuffed up and sitting beside the car while Dief stared at them and Benton informed them at length of how low they’d sunk and yeah. Pretty sure the sheer length and depth of the Mountie’s disappointment was some form of torture. Ray should probably put a stop to it, but you know, nuns.
Turning back to Mother Cecilia, he thanked her for her time and apologized for interrupting their charity event. And doing his own Benton-inspired thing, he found himself offering to come back once they’d booked their perps and finish helping with the charity wrap thing. Turned out they had that in hand. Hallelujah. But of course she went on about what they didn’t have in hand. And okay. Yeah. He could work with that.
Benton was gonna love this.
Closing his notebook and tucking it away, he sauntered over to Benton and the cornered douchebags. They didn’t deserve the save, but he needed to catch Lieutenant Welsh before he left for the day.
“Pretty sure they’re sorry to their bones, Ben.”
Benton paused mid-sentence and looked back at him, with one eyebrow raised. He was in total huffy Mountie mode, which was greatness when not aimed at Ray.
“And if not, sitting in a jail cell for Christmas will totally finish ‘em off.”
Benton turned back around and eyed the douchebags that we’re trying to look as pitiful as possible. Wasn’t working, but they were trying. “I believe you may be right, Ray. If not, there is always Mr. Alfonso’s Mother. She should certainly be able to impart the severity of their misstep.”
Ray nodded, tucking his hands in his pockets. “That too, but before any of that we gotta book ‘em, which means loading ‘em up.”
Benton straightened up, tucking his hands behind him. “Very well.”
“Good. Great. Greatness.” Rocking back on his heels, he yelled over his shoulder, “Huey! Dewey! Fraser’s done with ‘em. Grab a couple and let’s get back to the 2-7.”
A sigh echoed again. God, Benton, could be dramatic. Ray finished feeding the turtle and wandered back into the kitchen. The dishes were only half done instead of finished and mostly dried like normal. A brooding Benton was adorable and troublesome both. But today Ray’d fixed it before it could be a problem.
“If you’re not going to actually wash ‘em up, then just leave ‘em. They’ll keep and I got something for you.”
“Ah.” Benton stared at the well-scrubbed dish he’d been rewashing repeatedly. “Yes, I appear to be a bit distracted.”
“Still stuck on the nuns?”
“I suppose so, yes.”
Joining Benton at the sink, Ray grabbed the pan from dinner and started scrubbing it. There wasn’t actually much left. Nudging Benton with his elbow he passed him the pan. “Rinse those and I’ll get this last one.”
Benton nodded and between them they finished quickly.
Drying his hands, Ray leaned back against the counter. “You’ve rubbed off on me.”
“Indeed,” Benton drawled, a smile teasing at his lips.
Ray laughed and bumped Benton with his hip. “Definitely that way, but not the way I mean this time. I’m getting a dance for this one.”
Benton settled his hands on Ray’s hips and pulled him forward, placing a kiss on his forehead. “You only have to ask.”
Ray smiled and reached up to pull him down for a deeper kiss.
“Yeah, but this time I earned it. Knew the nuns would bother you so I checked with Mother Cecilia. She’s solid. Already had a plan for most everything. Just one thing put a, you know, a fold….”
“Yeah. Crimp in her plans. Got it sorted with Welsh when you went to get us coffee. You’re gonna have to find something different to wear though.”
“And why would your solution necessitate a change in clothing?”
Ray laughed, sliding his hands down Benton’s back to his waist. “Can’t have two guys in red. It’ll confuse all the kids and only way Welsh would agree was if he’s Santa. The 2-7 is filling in for the missing Santa and elves passing out presents to the kids next week.”
Ray loved that smile and how Benton looked at him like he was everything Benton could dare to want. Yeah, that was a good smile. The best smile. He tipped his head to the side and kissed it.
“Ray, Ray, Ray, Ray, Ray.”
“Yeah, Ben-ton,” he teased back. “Knew you’d love it. I’m calling a waltz.”
Ray laughed and shifted their grips to the right position before leading them in a box step through the kitchen and into the dining room. The space there saw more dancing than eating. It was easy to find a reason to celebrate when they were together.
Ray flicked the tip of the pointed hat Benton was wearing. “Rocking the green there, Benton.”
Benton readjusted his cap. “Considering we obtained the same outfit, I believe we both are.”
“True. True. Kids’ll love it though.” Ray hip bumped him as he headed over to peer around the corner. Mother Cecilia and her troops had done a great job. Looked like a good place for kids with a table of treats, a couple of dolled up trees, and a pile of presents sitting in sight. “Welsh is already out there seated on his jolly old throne. Almost time for the kids to arrive.”
Looking down, Ray laughed at the disgruntled look on the elfed-up wolf. “You look fine, Dief. Besides, the kids will sneak you all the treats.”
The wolf perked up at that and Benton sighed. “Please show some restraint and remember that you do have some dignity, Diefenbaker.”
Dief shook his head and pushed his way past them to head towards Welsh and the rest of the 2-7 that were filling in as elves while Ray choked on a laugh. “There’s no dignity when treats abound. You know that.”
“I do, but one day it may just happen.”
“Think our days are pretty good already.”
“Yeah. Yeah. I like that. That’ll be the cherry on this sundae once we’re done. Happy kids and a Christmas dance. Now, come on, Benton. We got presents to hand out.”
Profilers for Christmas is an anonymous crime drama Advent Calendar featuring both art and stories. Additional information about the challenge can be found here.